Varicose and Spider Veins

Varicose and spider veins may be visible to the human eye, and while they can appear on the skin's surface, there are major differences in their appearance. At our office, your vein health is our paramount concern. We want to make sure you receive the right diagnosis, and the most comprehensive course of vein treatment.

Both veins are caused by different factors, and depending on the causes, how they look and where they're located, your vein care specialist will recommend a customized treatment plan. The more painful of the two, varicose veins, bulge out from the skin's surface. Spider veins are smaller visible veins that look a lot like actual spider webs, and are often referenced to as telangiectasias.

What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are more enlarged than spider veins and often appear as twisting, bulging veins above the surface of the skin. These veins may develop as a result of an abnormal valve or a weakened vessel. Blood is not allowed to flow back to the heart, as it is supposed to do in a healthy vein. Instead, the blood pools inside the veins and causes them to protrude. When the veins cannot pump blood back to the heart, it can result in a condition called chronic venous insufficiency. Varicose veins can cause achiness, pain or swelling in the lower legs, ankles or feet.

What are Spider Veins?

Spider veins, also called telangietasias, are smaller than varicose veins and are more cosmetic in nature. They are named “spider” because they appear as networks of blue or purple veins on the surface of the skin. They are commonly found on the lower legs, but can also appear on the thighs, hands and face.

Contributing Factors to the Development of Varicose Veins

Risk factors for both spider and varicose veins may include:

  • Hereditary
  • Age
  • Hormones
  • Pregnancy
  • Trauma
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Obesity
  • Prolonged Standing

Symptoms of Varicose Veins

  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Restless leg
  • Bleeding
  • Leg Heaviness
  • Fatigue
  • Physical changes to your skin
  • Ulcers

Varicose and Spider Vein Treatment

Treatment of varicose veins and spider veins can be for cosmetic purposes and/or for alleviating painful symptoms. There are similar treatments for both vein conditions, as well as some more specific treatments for varicose veins.

Treatment for varicose veins includes the following:

  • Compression Therapy
  • Sclerotherapy
  • Phlebectomy
  • Thermal Ablation

Treatment for spider veins includes the following:

  • Sclerotherapy
  • Laser
  • Ohmic Thermolysis
  • Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

It is our goal to ensure you receive the best vein care possible. Contact our office to schedule your vein consultation.